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"No matter how much I carve, it still means nothing to me. I don't even have a theory."
"I do. It's a map."
Phil Coulson and Skye[src]

The Words of Creation are a three-dimensional map of an underground Kree City. Pieces of the map were found inside the Todorov Building, and were later reproduced by John Garrett, Phil Coulson and other patients submitted to Project T.A.H.I.T.I. as a side effect of the GH.325 drug. Since they are the result of Kree genetic engineering, Inhumans treated with GH.325 can comprehend the map even if they have yet to go through Terrigenesis, meaning they are not compelled to write the symbols.

In Attilan, the Words of Creation were inscribed on the walls of the Inhuman Royal Palace and on the royal throne.


The Mystery Begins

Diviner Skye's mother touch the Obelisk

"You need me to translate the Words of Creation."
John Garrett to Deathlok[src]

In 1945, HYDRA General Werner Reinhardt forced Jiaying to touch the Obelisk. When she did, he was astounded because it did not petrify her; instead symbols glowed on the artifact until she released it.[1]

Phil Coulson, the agent in charge of the T.A.H.I.T.I. Project, saw the writing when the volunteer test subjects started to experience degenerative effects, with them writing and carving the symbols. However, Coulson had their memories erased to ensure their recovery.[2]

Coulson's memories were then erased following his resurrection.[3]

Symbols of interest to the Centipede Group

After Skye hijacked the eye implant signal, the S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Grant Ward completed Akela Amador's infiltration mission given her by HYDRA, using a set of glasses mimicking her eye implant. He found that the target of the infiltration mission inside the Todorov Building was the equation, that was being studied by two men.[4]

After John Garrett was infused with GH.325, he started to display symptoms of insanity. Questioned by Grant Ward, Garrett told him that he was "alive" and "could do anything" while carving the equation on a glass piece inside the Bus with a nail.[5]

Coulson's Symptoms

Phil Coulson equation

Agent Phil Coulson was given the Toolbox by Nick Fury, which led him to the S.H.I.E.L.D. secret facility, the Playground. Later that night, Coulson awakened and began writing the equation on one of the facility walls.[5]

Though he told Melinda May that he was overseas, Phil Coulson was meeting with Andrew Garner, an ex-S.H.I.E.L.D. psychologist and May's ex-husband, because he did not feel comfortable enough to talk to anyone else about the writings.[6]

Skye researching the Words of Creation

For a month, Coulson had Skye try to decipher the symbols that Garrett had written. She looked into the Rising Tide for help to no avail.

When Isabelle Hartley grabbed the Obelisk, the symbols appeared on the artifact.[7]

Melinda May began to worry about Coulson when, after eighteen days, he had not relieved his need to inscribe the symbols. She photographed his carvings as he wrote on a blackboard in his office in the Playground.

Raina touching the Obelisk for the first time

When Raina touched the Obelisk on the insistence of Calvin Zabo, the symbols appeared and glowed.[8]

A fire took place, destroying Santa Maria de las Flores; the only artifact that remained untouched was a 500 year old painting. When the priest showed the painting to a bishop, he flipped it to its back and showed the symbols inscribed there. Gabriel Soto held a fundraiser to rebuild the church and Coulson and May crashed the party to get the painting, not knowing that Sunil Bakshi, impersonating Glenn Talbot, had already taken the painting to his hotel room. Eventually, Coulson got the painting, but learned that the carvings had been made recently. [9]

Skye saw the symbols scribbled on Coulson's desk. As she was researching the symbols, Lance Hunter told Skye to go to Grant Ward for consultation. When she did, he desperately hoped that she was not the one writing them. Ward told her that Garrett did it more and more after he was infused with GH.325. This conversation made Skye realize that Coulson was writing the symbols.

When she confronted him on it, he told her that she may be an alien because she was not writing them. Their conversation was interrupted by a phone call from Raina. When they returned from dealing with her, Skye wanted full disclosure and Coulson gave it to her. He was upset that the symbols he wrote were incomprehensible to him. She revealed that she believed the symbols are a map.[10]

Sebastian Derik went to a tattoo artist to have more symbols inked onto his body, to accompany the ones already there, as the pain helped him to remember.[11]

Solving the Mystery

Phil Coulson looks at the carvings he made

"It wants us to know; I can feel it."
"Then, "it" should tell us, because I have been trying to match the writing to constellation maps, navigational charts, genome diagrams, and if it is a map, it is a map to nowhere."
Phil Coulson and Skye[src]

When the body of Janice Robbins was discovered with the symbols carved into it, Phil Coulson told Skye that the meaning of the symbols must be solved because he no longer slept due to the unstoppable inclination to write them every day. Ultimately, Coulson used the Theta Brain-Wave Frequency Machine to learn that Robbins was one of six other patients in Project T.A.H.I.T.I. who were administered GH.325 under his authority. All of these patients wrote the symbols even after having their memories erased by the Memory Overwriting Machine and starting new lives. There were only two other patients still alive.

Phil Coulson look to Words of Creation, paintings of Janice Robbins

This led Coulson to Hank Thompson, who, instead of carving the symbols, made three-dimensional erections of them in his model train track set. During his confrontation at Thompson's home with Sebastian Derik, another Project T.A.H.I.T.I. patient and the killer of Robbins and the others, Coulson saw the track set and realized what the symbols meant. When he showed Derik the train tracks, Derik became docile and cooperative as his quest was answered as well. [2]

Actual Meaning

Phil Coulson and the blue prints holograph of the mysterious city

"It's not so much a map, as a blueprint. It's a city."
Phil Coulson[src]

When Phil Coulson returned to the Playground, he had a meeting with his senior agents. He informed them that the symbols had been finally figured out, and his inclination to carve them had gone. He used the Echo Chamber to change the 2-D representation to a three-dimensional one, revealing the symbols to be an alien city.

Director Coulson gave his agents a new mission: find the city before HYDRA does.[2]

Upon finding the city beneath Castillo San Cristóbal in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Alphonso Mackenzie went into a shaft to learn why the D.W.A.R.F.s, that were sent to investigate the structural integrity of the city, went off-line. He touched the ground and it began to glow with the symbols. A symbol suddenly appeared on his hand and he screamed in pain.[12]

The city activates and possesses Alphonso Mackenzie

Using the Words of Creation, Skye deciphered that one of the symbols represented the temple and its location. Before she could tell Phil Coulson its location so he could destroy it, communications on the Bus were hijacked by Daniel Whitehall.[12]

Daniel Whitehall forced Skye at gunpoint to touch the Diviner; when she did, the Words of Creation appeared on the artifact.

Phil Coulson told Melinda May that he was entering the Kree City to satisfy his curiosity about what he has been writing for so long.

The symbols appeared on the Diviner owned by Gordon after the transformations of Raina and Skye.[13]

Destruction of Attilan

The Words of Creation from Attilan start to glow

The Words of Creation printed on the throne in the Inhuman Royal Palace began to glow after the evacuation of Attilan as if it was sending a signal to outer space.[14]


The following is a list of people that have written the symbols of the Words of Creation.


Appearances for Words of Creation

In chronological order:



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